It took us more than a year to plan and organize and it all happened so quickly. Typical of most of my days back home during my trip home, I woke up around 7am, three hours before any of our wedding suppliers were scheduled to arrive at the hotel. It wasn't so much excitement as habit I think. Nevertheless, I was anxiously going over what needed to happen for the duration of the day even over breakfast.
By 10am the hair and make up staff arrived as scheduled and that I think was when things started happening quite fast. Hair was getting set, make-ups were being applied and before I knew it, video and photo were all over the room and the wedding paraphernalia were getting their photo treatments. Flowers had arrived and they too were being photographed. Unlike my previous stint shooting at a wedding though, the whole experience seemed extremely different. There were no flashes going off every second. In fact, photography was in full force only when they started putting on my make up and even then, no blinding lights were present. Next thing I knew, I was dressed and we were taking portraits. I thought those would be easy, but it really wasnt. Keeping your chin down but your eyes looking up kinda made me feel like my eyeballs were about to roll up into the back of my eye sockets, but I survived.
Heading out was a bit of an adventure. We were sitting around waiting for the scheduled time when I was supposed to leave the hotel when I decided we could leave. After all, early was better than late. Just as the elevator doors opened at the lobby, I realized that Allan could still be at the lobby. He wasnt meant to see me until I walked down the aisle so we went back up to the room to give it 10 minutes more. When we did head off to the lobby, I saw my sisters in law waiting for the car. I thought they couldnt possibly be with Allan so it didnt matter. As they drove off though I caught a glimpse of the silhouette of who was driving and saw that it was someone bald --- I had to duck behind my mom, thinking that it could've been Allan. It didnt help that they were obviously trying to catch a glimpse of me. Turns out that it wasnt Allan, but I thought that was funny.
So we arrived at the church half an hour earlier which was perfect. I saw my friends gathered outside the church, as scheduled. To be honest, waiting in the car was a little weird. I wasnt nervous, but I knew the time was about to come. A few minutes later, Ames comes over to tell me that we're starting. It was early, I thought, but yes, better early than late, I guess.
The moment my mom left the car to take her place in the queue, I have to admit that I started to be a little nervous. This was it. All the months of preparation is about to come together into one afternoon of traditional and religious ceremony capped by an evening feasting on food we've pored over for months. As Ames helped me up the steps to the church, I told her that I was a bit shaky and I really was. When they opened the door and I started walking, the main thought that entered my head was "Oh no, the church lector asked the crowd to applaud my entrace". I wanted it to be quiet and serene, no fanfare and no applause please. Nonetheless, it wasnt major and I didn't lose a step. I almost did when I saw my mom in the middle of the aisle with tears threatening. I smiled my widest smile and concentrated on seeing who made it to the church. I didn't want to cry, I didn't plan to cry. The trick worked and I was tear-free the entire afternoon (and evening).
I wont go into detail of what went on in the church, I remember thinking that the ceremony was going relatively fast. Faster than I wanted it to go. I let it go, no big deal after all.
The most enjoyable part of the evening would be when we arrived at High Street and started having our photos taken. Strangers were congratulating us and we were getting stares and smiles from shoppers. I found it all very amusing. Shooting inside Fully Booked was fun because we could just play around and look around and have our photos taken. There was no need to pose and pretend to be model-like which we werent. I will admit that I was disappointed that it had to end, but we did have guests to return to.
Walking into the reception hall I was pleasantly surprised to see that it turned out the way we wanted it to --- intimate, formal but not stiff and the candles and lighting created what I thought was a very welcoming mood. The food, as expected, was yummy and the flow of the entire program was just what we thought it would be, simple and straightforward.
I suppose the best way to find out if it was a success is to gauge how you feel immediately after the event. On our way back to the hotel, I was tired but very pleasantly happy with how things went. It was all fairly smooth and we had a great time. So based purely on that, I would think that it was a success. To this day, weeks after the wedding, just looking back still brings a smile to my face.